James F. Donnelly, Registered Sex Offender Moves in Across the Street From Public Elementary School
Update #4: KRON is reporting that Donnelly has moved from the residence across the street from the elementary school.
I grappled with whether or not to publish this email that I received last night. It’s not so much that I object to having a registered sex offender live so close to me, even if on a personal level with four young children that bothers me. It’s more that I think it’s irresponsible for the state to allow, and for a registered sex offender to choose, to live across the street from an elementary school. Not just because it’s my community’s school, but because I don’t think a registered sex offender should live across the street from *any* school.
While I can personally empathize with the plight of registered sex offenders and their need to live *somewhere,* I think across the street from a school is not a good idea for a myriad of reasons. I thought that Megan’s Law precluded registered sex offenders from living close to schools and so I called our local police department this morning (to both confirm the press release as well as to inquire about the law’s requirement). The police told me that because Donnelly was convicted Federally, rather than at the State level, that he was under Jessica’s law rather than Megan’s law. Apparently Jessica’s law allows registered sex offenders to move in across the street from elementary schools under a Federal conviction rather than a state one (which seems entirely inconsistent to me personally).
I also asked the police department whether or not it would be legal for me to republish the press release that they issued and they told me that it would be. So this is the press release that I received. While I recognize that Donnelly did his time for his crimes, I do hope that he reconsiders his decision to live across the street from a school. I also hope that people that might deal with him who have children are made aware of his criminal past.
The Piedmont Police Department is providing information to the public about a person required to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code Section 290. The Piedmont Police Department deems this notification necessary to ensure the public safety based upon information made available to this department by the United States Department of Justice and to allow the public to protect themselves and their children from sex offenders.
James F. Donnelly has been released from federal prison after serving time for Possession of Child Pornography. The Piedmont Police Department believes that in addition to the charge for which James F. Donnelly was convicted, he was also the subject of a federal investigation into child sex tourism, was a participant in NAMBLA (North America Man Boy Love Association) and has moved very near an elementary school.
James F. Donnelly is a 71 year old, white male, residing at 256 Wildwood Ave., Piedmont, CA. Mr. Donnelly drives an orange 2010 Honda Fit 4-door hatchback.
Any person who criminally misuses the aforementioned information will be subject to criminal prosecution.
Captain / Interim Chief of Police
March 2, 2010
Update: A more detailed conversation about my decision on whether or not to publish this post can be read here.
Update #2: The NY Times picks up on this story here.
Update #3: 2nd article from the NY Times says that Donnelly is trying to “speed up” the process of relocating. Also, someone claiming to be Donnelly’s niece responds in the comments.